(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
This Indenture witnesseth that Joseph Barnard
Gentleman, Joseph Stebbins Esquire, & John
Williams Esquire all of Deerfield in the County
of Hampshire & Commonwealth of Massachusetts
and Overseers of the Poor of the said Town of
Deerfield: by virtue of a law of the Com=
=monwealth aforesaid in such case provided.
Have placed & by these presents, do place
and bind out as an Apprentice a poor child
(who has become chargeable to said town)
named Sarah Green daughter of Samuel
Green late resident in said town.
Unto Ebenezer Hindsdale Williams of
said Deerfield Gentleman; to learn the Art or
Mistery of common needlework & housewifery
the said Sarah to dwell with & serve the said
Ebenezer H Williams after the manner of an Apprentice
from the date hereof untill the Eleventh day of
September which will be in the Year of our Lord one
thousand Eight Hundred & Seven at which time, the
said apprentice (if she be living) will be Eighteen Years
of age; or untill she shall be married whichever of
said events shall first take place. during all
which time the said Apprentice her said Master
shall well & faithfully serve, she shall not
reveal his secrets, & shall readily obey his lawful
commands. She shall do no damage to her said Master,
nor know or suffer any to be done by others without
giving him notice thereof: she shall not spend her
time in idle pastimes, or amusements, nor absent
herself from the service of her said Master:
but shall behave herself, as a good & faithful
apprentice in all things, & at all times, during
the whole of said term
And the said Ebenezer H Williams on his
part doth hereby covenant & agree with the
Overseers aforesaid to teach the said Apprentice or
cause her to be taught the Art & Mistery of
common needlework, and housewifery by the best way
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In the 18th and early-19th centuries, it was common for a young woman to be trained by her mother or other head-of-household in the art and mystery of housewifery, much as a young man served an apprenticeship with a master of a trade for seven years, more or less, after he reached the age of twelve. In 1797, the year of this agreement (indenture), Sarah Green was eight. No mention is made of her mother and her father is described as being a "late resident of said town" [Deerfield]. Having no parents, she has been given over to the Overseers of the Poor to determine her welfare. Mr. E.H. Williams has undertaken to see that she will receive instruction in housewifery until September 11, 1807 when she will be eighteen years old, or until she marries. The terms of the agreement are similar to those in indentures of young men entering the trades.
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Indenture of Sarah Green
| creator Overseers of the poor
| date Nov 28, 1797
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| width 8.0"
| height 12.5"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Legal Documents/Indenture Contract
| accession # #L01.027
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